That’s a rhetorical question because the president IS a fascist. One doesn’t go around throwing the “f” word lightly. It’s even worse than calling the president a racist, which he also is, but denies. The reason he hasn’t denied being a fascist is that his opponents and most of the media, are too polite and haven’t gotten around to calling him one yet, despite ample evidence  that’s his political nature.                                               

MAFA Trump/fascism

Image by Horsey

Let’s look at the evidence. A definition of fascism is, “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.” ? After all, fascism has been around since the early 20th century, when nationalism in the world was at its peak. So maybe Trump isn’t a fascist because his system doesn’t yet have all the trappings, but he is trying and is just a “fascism wannabe.” He has the aspirations but hasn’t quite made it yet. Who knows, another four years in office and he might succeed.

Lawrence W. Britt, noted historian, wrote about the 14 common signs of fascism after researching seven fascist regimes in April, 2003: Hitler’s Nazi Germany; Mussolini’s Italy; Franco’s Spain; Salazar’s Portugal; Papadopoulos’ Greece; Pinochet’s Chile; Suharto’s Indonesia. This was more than ten years before president Trump came on the scene but it fits him to a “t.” A poster titled Early Warning Signs of Fascism”, that was shown for years in the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, summarizes Dr. Britt’s findings.

                                Criteria fascism

At a glance they all seem to fit president Trump like they were custom made for him, but let me remind you this was written over 10 years before he burst on the scene. But let’s go through the 14 characteristics, with examples of how they fit the man in the White House, just to make sure before making a judgment.

Powerful and Continuing: During his time in office, the president has repeated the same false charges hundreds of times, and has been fact-checked and found to be disingenuous on an earth-shattering 20,000 separate occasions. His ceaseless portrayal of his opposition as not only wrong, but as wantonly seeking to destroy our country, is outrageous. He says he is the only one who can save us. Words used to demean the opposition that he constantly brings up are: radicals, stupid, weak, losers, dangerous, bad, and out of control.

Nationalism: From the beginning he has described his overarching goal as “Make American Great Again” as if we were in the doldrums, as we clearly were not, until he got there. He alludes to a need to “drain the swamp,” his ties to veterans and the military and to the presence of a “deep state,” (traitors who have infiltrated our government in high places) as signs of his strong sense of purported patriotism.

Disdain For Human Rights: He distorts liberty by restricting the rights of Americans at home and of foreign aid recipients abroad. The president lauds foreign leaders who crack down on religious minorities. He denies aid in the form of birth control devices to third world nations that desperately need them. His disdain for the poor and immigrants is legendary.

Identification of Enemies as a Unifying Cause: His underlying message to his adherents is “It’s us against them.” The president has based his whole presidency on attacking anyone who isn’t in his camp. Notable groups whom he has berated are immigrants, particularly Muslims and Latinos, scientists, LGBTQ, minority groups, the old, and disabled persons.

Supremacy of the Military: The president started off his administration by appointing high level military leaders to his cabinet and other high positions, constantly referring to “his generals.” Most of them are now gone from his administration, either fired or resigned. He is currently using the military domestically, to confront protesters first in Portland, Oregon, and is threatening to expand into other cities. This is an uncalled-for attack on harmless “Black Lives Matter” protesters and is against the historical precedent of not using the military in internal matters. In fact. the military had turned down the honor after the fiasco at the St. Joseph’s church near the White house. Not to be deterred, the president scrapped up a few hundred militarized Federal agents from the Custom and Border Protection, the Marshal Service and Federal Protection Service to do the dirty job of beating up innocent protesters.

Rampant Sexism: the president’s history and attitudes toward women needs no amplification here.

Controlled Mass Media: It is a well-known historical fact that without a free press there is no democracy. The president is a masterful user of the media to further his cause.  Importantly, he attacks the “fake news” incessantly, to a point where his followers believe that the mainline media is completely untrustworthy. He uses Twitter, on social media, to send thousands of tweets to his enraptured followers. His powerful allies are Fox News, a partisan vehicle disguised as news, and countless local radio talk shows, many owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, whose partisanship is boundless.

Obsession with National Security: President Trump has needlessly pumped billions of dollars into the military. We spend more money for defense than the combined seven next largest spenders, money desperately needed for domestic programs. His constant unfounded cries of “deep state,” an imaginary group of opponents who illegally seek to undermine his presidency, is well known. While he gives “lip service” to being vested in national security, he has weakened us throughout the world by withdrawing from our traditional allies and playing cozy with the most prominent world dictators, his natural pals.

Religion and Government Intertwined:  President Trump “has played politics with religion in a way that damages America’s democratic norms and practices,” writes Amherst College professor Austin Sarat. Most past presidents have been committed to separating religion and politics. Just recently, as he was getting into his election mode, the president has been playing the “religion card” aggressively.He called for a reopening of the national economy and places of worship, citing the symbolic significance of Easter. He then met with conservative religious leaders and praised an Evangelical minister, one of his favorite support groups, for declaring the coronavirus is a result of a fallen world, a world that has turned its back on God. Shortly after that he used the military to move peaceful protesters out of his way before walking from the White House for a short distance to St. John’s Church. Here, in a prearranged  photo opportunity he was shown awkwardly holding a Bible aloft.

Corporate Power Protected: Foremost, he is a businessman, and he views the world through those eyes, evidencing an acute case of being empathy-challenged. The president’s quote about the 2017 tax cut to his fellow businessmen: “You all just got a lot richer,” speaks volumes. His premature rushing of our pandemic ridden country back to work at risk of lives, to make money, shows again where his heart is.

Labor Power Suppressed: Trump and the Republicans in Congress have pushed back on important worker protections that had been gained over the years, and advanced nominees to key administration posts who are anti-labor. Among other things, through executive power and use of the courts he has  weakened or abandoned regulations that protect workers’ salaries, allowed mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts, which weaken workers’ rights in lawsuits, rolled back regulations that protect worker pay and safety, and is still trying to take affordable health care away from the working classes.

Disdain For Intellectuals and the Arts: He feels a need to tell everyone how smart he is and to put down scientists, as he feels he knows better than they about climate change and the coronavirus. He was known to be a mediocre student and threatened to sue any school he went to if they released his grades. His jealousy of and obsession with the super smart President Obama is legendary. His sense of appreciation of artistic endeavors in highlighted by his pride and joy, Trump Towers. This edifice is described by architectural critics as a gaudy “pink marble mausoleum,” among other negatives. His pride in Trump Tower says reams about the president’s cultural outlook. This lack of taste is carried over to his knock-off Trump Tower designs in less-than-favorably-reviewed casinos, resorts and other office buildings.

Obsession with Crime and Punishment: The president ran on a platform of law and order and considers himself an unabashed supporter of police. He is against any weakening of punishment codes. That is, unless you are a crony, or someone favored by Fox News or someone in the administration. Then you are welcome to a free pass out of prison, called a pardon or commutation.

Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: There must be a reason that everyone around president Trump comes out of it with his or her reputation sullied. Think about it. His administration has been filled with people from his past. Those he appoints to office either don’t pass muster with the Senate, or if appointed, shortly get fired or forced to resign because of some abuse of office or incompetence. Corruption has been rampant: overpaying vendors from his inauguration, when he spent twice that of any other president to bogus organizations; his daughter and son-in-law doing business, using their position to benefit themselves; and stashing visiting dignitaries at exorbitant prices in the Trump International Hotel. His latest gambit is to try to force the FBI to build their new headquarters down the street, with carryover business for his hotel, rather than out in the suburbs, as planned.

Fraudulent Elections: The president welcomed the interference of Russia in the 2016 election. He has done nothing to obstruct this from happening again, since he is the beneficiary of their malfeasance. During his administration, the Republican Party has also undertaken unrelenting efforts to minimize minority , because they know these groups favor the Democratic Party. He commissioned an investigation of the 2016 election because Hilary Clinton got more votes. It turned up nothing. He keeps insisting that the reliance on the absentee or mail-in ballots in the 2020 election will cause vast voter fraud, because he fears a big election turnout again favors the Democrats. His latest ploy, as he watches his downward spiral in the presidential popularity polls, is to seek more time, asking for a postponement of the election because of the coronavirus epidemic. He hopes by this to gain more time to recoup his popularity. This postponement will not happen, because it is clearly written into the Constitution and the law when the election will occur.

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President Trump has been called many things to describe his political philosophy. He has been termed a populist because of his appeal to the common working man. But his administration in more than three years has not resulted in any legislative achievements for this group, not one. In fact, his one major legislative achievement has been to win himself and his rich buddies a tremendous tax saving. He recently said he liked being called a nationalist because he strongly favors our country. On the negative side, he has been called a budding authoritarian because he seeks to run roughshod over our democratic values. But as has been shown, fascist is the definition that suits him best.

We have highlighted the obscene misdeeds that characterize the president as a fascist. Some of them are on a recurring basis, and wherever possible recent examples have been cited. But in our society, few in the national media have the temerity to call him out as a fascist. It is not that they haven’t thought of it, but obviously are too polite. One of them who has is Dr. Lawrence Britt, the noted historian, who wrote the definition of fascism that has been shown here. Recently, in 2018, in a letter to the Register Mail, Dr. Britt called out and labeled Mr. Trump a fascist. No one knows better what the man is.

Why should most of his detractors feel inhibited to use the “f” word in describing Trump? After all, he calls them just about every name under the sun. And his partisans don’t think there is anything wrong with this. After all, they wanted a president who didn’t talk like a politician. So, they settled for a man with his tongue in the gutter who attacks his opponents all the time with vicious, vile, and disingenuous words.

Trump’s admiration for fascists knows no bounds. It has been documented by his first wife Ivana that his nighttime reading in the early 2000s was Adolf Hitler’s commentaries. The supposed statesmen the president currently admires most are all easily labeled in the authoritarian or fascist categories. His use of the techniques of Hitler and Mussolini still sounds like too much for a man of the limited intellect of president Trump.

Probably, Trump has relied upon, and been force-fed by, his Twitter buddy of many years: Steve Bannon, publisher of the alt-right wing Breitbart News and former chief strategist in Trump’s administration. He is now likely getting the far-right message from Stephen Miller, a Bannon crony, and currently the key presidential senior advisor in the White House.

As was shown here, president Trump’s behavior fits the description of a fascist like an expensive custom-made suit. He is so off-the-wall that if one were to call him a fascist, he might even like it better than being called a nationalist. Who knows?

“It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

–“Benito Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy, retweeted by Donald Trump.

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